These Delicious Winter Cocktails Will Warm Your Spirits This Holiday Season

You can’t go wrong with eggnog, but why limit yourself?

Sometimes the best thing to do when winter rages outside is to cuddle up with your partner or hang with some friends and sip on an adult beverage.

And since there’s no better time to get together with loved ones than the holidays, we partnered with Sensodyne® Rapid Relief toothpaste to share some creatively delicious winter cocktail recipes that you can enjoy together — whether they’re piping hot or ice cold. These seasonal cocktails go beyond the standard eggnog and hot apple cider. We enlisted the help of some of our favorite Instagram mixologists, aka the drinkstagrammer community, to come up with surprising and pleasing drinks to share with your friends this year.

The recipes below are sure to impress your guests at a holiday party or at whatever occasion you might find yourself drinking them this year so that you can focus on the more important task: making sure everyone’s having fun and drinking responsibly. Cheers!

The Fall Fig

The Fall Fig features a rosemary fig syrup that's sure to impress your guests this year.
The Fall Fig features a rosemary fig syrup that's sure to impress your guests this year.

“The Fall Fig is a favorite of mine, which came about by tinkering around with some of the autumnal flavors I love most,” Joe Dougherty, the man behind the cocktail feed @BitterBotwin, said. “Marrying the sweetness of the pear liqueur, the savory notes from the rosemary and fig syrup, and the spice and warmth of the rye whiskey reminds me of the perfect seasonal sipper when there’s a bit of chill in the air and the seasons are changing.”

Pro-tip: If you’re planning on making this for a holiday party that you’re hosting, Dougherty advised that you make your drink in bulk in advance. “Especially if you’re doing a punch or a big batch, make it ahead of time. You’re not going to want to be stuck behind the bar the whole time you’re at the party. If you batch…before, then you can throw a bowl out and mingle.”

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1.5 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce pear liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fig and rosemary syrup (recipe below)
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 6 ounces hot water

Fig and rosemary syrup:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 halved figs
  • Large sprig of rosemary

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into mug, give a stir to combine.
  2. Garnish with sliced fig and rosemary sprig.

Fig and rosemary syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup water, 6 halved figs and a large sprig of rosemary.
  2. Bring to a boil while occasionally stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Let cool and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a jar. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Timberbeast

The Timberbeast cocktail uses DIY pecan-infused bourbon — a delicious addition.
The Timberbeast cocktail uses DIY pecan-infused bourbon — a delicious addition.

After more than a few clients commissioned Jordan Hughes, a Portland, Oregon-based mixologist and photographer also known as @HighProofPreacher, to create pumpkin spice cocktail recipes, he needed to think up something a bit different. “They’re great, but I can only do so much pumpkin,” he shared. “I had always wanted to try making a roasted pecan-infused bourbon, so I went for it and it turned out really nice. The other ingredients in the drink are truly some of my all-time favorites for the season: apple brandy, Bénédictine (an herbal French liqueur), Falernum (a spice-based sweetener), absinthe and cinnamon smoke.”

As a bonus, Hughes said, the pecan-infused bourbon is “like a cocktail in itself.” He added, “I’ve mainly just been sipping it, but naturally, I had to try making something with it!”

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 3/4 ounce roasted pecan infused bourbon (recipe below)
  • 3/4 ounce apple brandy
  • 1/4 ounce French herbal liqueur (similar to Bénédictine)
  • 1/4 ounce falernum
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe

Roasted pecan-infused bourbon:

  • 375 milliliters of bourbon
  • 1 cup of raw pecans
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and stir with ice.
  2. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a smoking cinnamon stick (optional).

Roasted pecan-infused bourbon:

  1. Soak raw pecans in cold water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain them well and spread out on a cookie sheet.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and bake for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 300 F. Keep an eye on them and stir once or twice, being careful not to burn them.
  4. Let the pecans cool completely, and add them to a resealable container with the bourbon. Store at room temperature in a cool, dark place for about 5 days, stirring once every day.
  5. Once the whiskey has become sufficiently infused to your taste, strain out the solids by pouring it through a coffee filter.

Pass The Pie

Faith Xu's Pass The Pie drink is a twist on both the Trinidad sour and hot toddy cocktails.
Faith Xu's Pass The Pie drink is a twist on both the Trinidad sour and hot toddy cocktails.

For Faith Xu, when it comes to cocktails built around warm recipes that are good for the holidays, there’s not a whole lot of standards. “There’s hot toddies, hot butter rum or spice-heavy drinks,” Xu, a San Francisco-based spirits blogger who runs the @BarFaith feed on Instagram, said.

For parties, she recommends “something a little more unique that is different from the hundreds of other hot toddy recipes you’ll find out there.” By crossing a Trinidad sour (typically made with a heavy pour of aromatic bitters) with a hot toddy, Xu puts a drink together that she thinks would appeal to those without a sophisticated cocktail palate, while still impressing “even the most adventurous cocktail fanatic.”

Xu said her “jazzed-up version of a hot apple toddy is perfect to snuggle up to during the chilly holiday season. Aromatic cocktail bitters are known as the spices of the cocktail world and usually just a few scant dashes can liven up and transform a plain boring drink into something magical. They tend to be very potent in flavor and heavy on the warm baking spices, so we are raising the intensity here and using a full half ounce of it in this wintry drink. It’s warm, inviting and familiar, yet has an unexpected rich and bold, full-bodied pizazz.”

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ounce apple brandy or applejack
  • 1/2 ounce aromatic bitters
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat almond syrup*
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 ounces hot water

Cinnamon syrup:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heat-resistant glass or mug.
  2. Stir well to combine, and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a slice of apple.

Cinnamon syrup:

  1. Heat up cinnamon sticks, sugar and water in a pot until the sugar has just dissolved (it should be translucent).
  2. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture infuse overnight, up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and store in a clean bottle. You can also add a teaspoon of vodka to help with preservation; it will keep for months.

*Orgeat is a syrup made with almonds and flower water, an essential ingredient in tiki drinks, but also used to give a sweetly nutty essence to many cocktails. You can make it yourself — although it’s a bit messy — or look for those made with natural ingredients and less sweeteners in the store.

Fire

Rael Petit's Fire cocktail is literally (and carefully) lit on fire to add flavor.
Rael Petit's Fire cocktail is literally (and carefully) lit on fire to add flavor.

Rael Petit, a bartender in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, sent us over this recipe for a pyrotechnic cocktail that he makes with flair. Why would you set your drink on fire? Other than the fact that it looks impressive, flash-heating a rinse of liquor burns off some of its alcohol, allowing for your tastebuds to pick up more of the nuanced flavor notes of, in this case, an herbal liqueur.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ounce American single malt whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce amaro (Petit uses Montenegro)
  • 1/4 ounce allspice dram
  • 3/4 ounce ginger syrup
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Herbal liqueur
  • Orange peel
  • Lemon peel

Directions:

  1. Rinse the glass with your choice of herbal liqueur, light it on fire, and let it burn for a few seconds.
  2. Blow it out.
  3. Stir all the ingredients together in an empty mixing glass.
  4. Pour into the heated glass.
  5. Top with hot water.
  6. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon.

Don’t let the discomfort of drinking hot beverages keep you out in the cold this holiday season. Let Sensodyne® Rapid Relief toothpaste alleviate your tooth sensitivity, providing lasting relief in just three days with twice-daily brushing. Rapid Relief has a unique formulation with stannous fluoride that helps keep the discomfort at bay, allowing you to enjoy all things toasty and warm while the weather outside is frightful.